We offer private lessons in a variety of instruments including brass, woodwinds, strings and percussion. Our knowledgeable faculty are committed to providing students of all ages and skill levels with professional and comfortable learning experience.
What are you waiting for? Give us a call at 419-522-8224 to schedule your lesson today!
(Saxophone & Clarinet)
Ralph Brown received his Masters of Music Education in 1962 from the Vandercook College of Music in Chicago, IL, after completing his Bachelors of Music Education from Westminster College in New Wilimington, PA, in 1952. Ralph is a veteran of the United States Navy where he served for 4 years. He comes to Richland Academy with over 50 years of teaching experience. Ralph began his music education journey in Avonworth School in PA. After moving to Ohio, he taught locally at Madison High School for 30 years retiring in 1983 and then taught at Clear Fork Schools for 20 years before retiring again in 2015. In addition to many years of teaching in public schools, Ralph has been a private instructor, worked at Bill’s Music Center in Ashland, OH, and Harvey’s House of Music in Mansfield, OH. Ralph performed in the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra for 10 years and has played many bands throughout the Mansfield area including: the Percy Hall Band, the Rib Ticklers, and the Stardust Dance Band.
Erik is a native of the Mansfield area, and a graduate of Madison High School. He completed his undergraduate studies at Capital University in 1992, earning a B.A. in Commercial Music. While at Capital, he studied trumpet with Ray Eubanks, the longtime artistic director of the Jazz Arts Group of Columbus (now the Columbus Jazz Orchestra). During his time at Capital he also played lead trumpet for the prize winning ‘Big Band Sound, Big Band’ under the direction of former Woody Herman trombonist/arranger, Vaughn Wiester.
When Vaughn Wiester started up a ‘professional’ band in Columbus (The “Famous Jazz Orchestra”) to perform a weekly gig, he recruited Erik to play lead trumpet for him once again. It’s a position he’s continued to hold for over 20 years now, performing every Monday night.
In addition to playing with the FJO, Erik is a busy, sought after musician who also is a regular member of The Dave Banks Big Band in the Akron area. Other performance credits include: The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra, The Paul Ferguson Jazz Orchestra, The Columbus Jazz Orchestra, The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra led by Buddy Morrow, The Nelson Riddle Orchestra, The Artistic Jazz Orchestra, Ernie Krivda’s “Fat Tuesday Big Band”, The Rick Brunetto Big Band, The New Remnants Dance Orchestra, The O’Jays, and the “Chicago” style rock band “Direct Energy”. Erik has also enjoyed working with entertainers Toni Tennille, Marie Osmond, Bobby Vincent, Don Rickles, and Joan Rivers, among others.
Erik also plays lead trumpet for the recently formed “Mansfield Jazz Orchestra” and from time to time, will front a jazz orchestra under his own name as well.
Erik can be heard playing on The Paul Ferguson Jazz Orchestra’s CD recording “Live at the Bop Stop”, and the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra’s “Jazz Vespers” CD. He can also be heard on all of the Famous Jazz Orchestra’s CD recordings.
Wes Porter is a ‘03 graduate of Ashland High School and studied percussion performance at Ashland University and performed with the acclaimed AU Jazz Orchestra. Wes spent much of his early 20’s touring all over the US, Canada, UK, the Middle East, Africa and Australia, much of which as a cultural ambassador with the US State Department. For the last several years Wes has become a first call drummer for Ohio’s top country, rock, blues and Americana artists, and currently records and tours with Ohio based country artist Jacob Lones, and has previously performed with acts such as The DeVault Ridge Band, Mark King and the Roadhouse Band, Atomic Lounge and many others.
Wyatt is a recent graduate of Clearfork High School and will be attending BGSU this fall. He is a member of the marching band and the Youth Symphony Orchestra. He has studied privately with Jim Smith, a former instructor of Richland Academy. Wyatt is currently in a Jazz Combo and performs regularly around the Mansfield area.
Wyatt was recently accepted to Bowling Green State University to study percussion, and music composition. He has won several awards nationally for his compositions.
(Violin, Viola, Beginner Piano, Beginner Cello)
She has been a private music instructor since 1978 and has taught at several schools and colleges throughout Ohio including Wooster and Lexington school districts, Cuyahoga Community College, and Cleveland State University.
Ricky is a guitarist, singer/songwriter, producer, and audio engineer from Knoxville, Tennessee. Leaving high school early to hit the stage in 2010, he has produced dozens of tracks and performed hundreds of shows at venues up and down the eastern United States, and developed an appreciation for what it takes to grow musically along the way. He specializes in teaching contemporary electric and acoustic music, and believes teaching, when specialized for each student’s wants and needs, can instill a lifelong passion. Whether the goal is sitting in at the local blues jam, finger-picking through a library of folk songs, mastering techniques and modes, outlining chords, or just strumming around the camp fire, every style can find a place.
Paul Martin-Music Director
(Bass-Upright & Electric, Gutiar & Saxophone)
Paul Martin teaches upright and electric bass. Paul is an active bandleader, bassist, saxophonist, and composer/arranger. Paul studied jazz bass with Doug Richeson (bassist for Tony Bennett), jazz saxophone with Tom Reed (Ashland University), and jazz arranging with Vaughn Wiester (bass trombonist and arranger for Woody Herman). He leads the Artistic Jazz Orchestra (a 19 piece big band), the Stardust Dance Band (an 8 piece jazz band), and the Paul Martin Jazz Quartet; in addition, he leads a Beatles/Pink Floyd band called Glass Onion. Paul is the owner of Paul Martin Music, a publisher of Jazz Ensemble music, and is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP). Paul also serves as the president for the American Federation of Musicians, Local 159.
Darrin Thurber has over ten years of experience in teaching guitar to individuals of various ages and skill levels. Completing his BA in Guitar Performance at Pacific Union College and his MA in Guitar Performance from San Francisco State University, Darrin is primarily trained in classical and finger-style guitar. Darrin is also proficient in other music styles (e.g. folk, music, jazz, etc.) and has a passion for helping students become better guitarists while having fun at the same time!